Below is a letter I wrote to Chief Garr Nielsen and the Eureka Police Department.
“Dear Chief Garr Nielsen and the EPD,
“I can barely express in words the anger, frustration and embarrassment I felt as a Humboldt County resident when I heard about your fellow officers being accused of criminal homicide for being brave enough to deal with situations few other residents could ever stomach.
“I do not claim to understand the whys and politics behind the whole indictment, but it stinks and it stains everyone in this county.
“The idea that a commanding officer (management) can be held criminally liable for dealing with a clearly deranged person threatening the lives of fellow residents with a lethal weapon is absurd. The decisions you must make with very little information and time are some of the toughest any person could ever deal with and to now have to consider criminal prosecution for action is unfathomable.
“It is truly a thin blue line that keeps us so well-protected and some of my fellow citizens have lost their way. As our economy slows, our poverty rate will increase and in part due to other political interests, we will see a larger gap between the “haves” and “have nots.” Lack of housing and opportunity, large budget cuts and inadequate education are real issues we will have to confront in the coming years. All of these will lead to higher crime rates. Where will decent citizens be then?
“The EPD is not alone in this fight, many of us stand with you.”
By Thomas Bruner, Westhaven